David Cay Johnston on the bailout bill

Whether you were for or against the bailout bill, these three essays by David Cay Johnston, written for The Plank (a blog for The New Republic) are worth reading:

I’ve been a long-time fan of Johnston’s investigative reporting for The New York Times and after recently reading two of his books — Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich – and Cheat Everybody Else (click here to read an excerpt of the book or click here to read my entries on this book) and Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) (click here to read my entries on this book or click here to read excerpts and view the table of contents on the author’s website for this book) — I’ve come to trust Johnston as an advocate for the common person.

It seems to me that instead of doing concrete research into how the bailout bill might affect Americans and the global economy, most media sources were simply fear-mongering about the chaos that we were doomed to if the bailout failed to pass. I’m also disappointed that Congress appears not to have considered alternatives to the bailout bill initially proposed by Hank Paulson and instead just worked to improve it.

It couldn’t have hurt them to talk to some of the world’s economists who had differing opinions.

Absent that, we can trust Johnston to speak up for us.

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